It can be daunting to take a decision on whether to hire a freelancer or a website design agency when starting a website design or re-design project for your business. For most businesses and entrepreneurs, a website building project is a huge undertaking, demanding a momentous investment of both time and money. So, before you take the plunge, it is imperative for you to contemplate upon the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer vs an agency.
Without further ado, let us compare the two on the basis of a few parameters:
Website prices can differ a lot between a freelancer and an agency. Freelancers quote reasonable rates, as they have no overhead costs to deal with. On the other hand, if you go with an agency, it will follow a phased approach to develop your website, that includes a web strategy phase, custom design phase, and web development phase, which involves investments in the web strategist, website designer, content developer etc. and overhead costs for the office and team.
However talented your freelancer might be, you are confined to his skills and resources, as it is extremely unlikely that you have a web strategist, UX designer, web developer, content developer, and a project manager all in that one individual. On the other hand, an agency will have a team of specialists who would be delegated different tasks based on their skill set. Agencies also set certain standards while employing people, which means that these team members would be having many years of diverse experience and would be adept with advanced functionalities that you would love to incorporate in your website.
When you work with a freelancer, there is an opportunity to get personally involved in the creative aspect of the project, since the freelancer is your sole contact on the project and it is just the two of you. Whereas, Web designing agencies have multiple levels of approval for client work and does not promise as much transparency. This might result in future issues, missing pieces, and dissatisfactory results.
Freelancers have the advantage of flexible working schedules, and location independence as long as they have a robust internet connection. However, this could be an issue in case you are in a time zone different from your freelancer. There might be times when you have an emergency and they are not available. Another nightmarish situation could be that the freelancer is halfway through his work, and disappears out of the blue. Looking for a replacement and explaining him the website specifications all over again could be a daunting task for you.
Seeking multiple competencies translates to hiring multiple freelancers. For e.g., if your website development project requires a content developer, a programmer, and a graphic designer, you need to hire four different freelancers. Handling all four of them could be daunting, more so if they are operating out of different time zones. Whereas, when you delegate the task to a website designing agency, a project manager would be assigned to handle individual specialists. In addition, the project manager tracks the hours and provides regular reviews and feedbacks. It is way easier to go through a project manager who supervises the team, than individually tracking each freelancer. Also, with an agency, you don’t have to panic about the absconding freelancers. They can provide good replacements if there is a crisis.
With a freelancer, you can be assured that you have only one point of contact throughout the project and this can help you have a personal touch and approach to your website. With an agency, you would find more processes in place wherein a request might require to be reviewed by multiple peers before it is actually approved. In a larger team, there is a likelihood of a difference of opinion between different team members in every aspect, which might result in miscommunication, missing pieces, and delays.
If you are an entrepreneur setting up a new small business and require a simple website only to establish a web presence, then going with a freelancer or a small agency might be a great idea.
On the other hand, if you own a well-established business and your tight work schedule does not permit you to keep up with multiple freelancers, but wish to have a website that can play a crucial role in marketing your products and services, then going with an agency would be a great idea. Moreover, if you want your website to have e-commerce and other complex items, then also delegating your work to an agency would be a more sensible investment, given that a high-quality website calls for several advanced level skill sets.
Lots of talented individuals have the afore-mentioned competencies and skills, but are unable to adequately create a website all by themselves, that is phenomenal in all aspects of website designing, for example – Content management, SEO, Analytics, CTR optimisations, Inventory management, etc. in addition to those website components that are visible to your visitors, such as media, links and payment tools, etc. If you are looking for astounding results, you must stand firm on outstanding qualifications in all facets of your website development project. Banking on a single freelancer to build a website from the ground up and be accountable for all aspects of website designing from inception to launch, might not be that good of an idea. So, there are two options:
Remember that your website is going to represent your business 24/7 and you would not only want it to look stellar but also work like a charm. So, you have to gauge the pros and cons and take a decision accordingly.